Nigerian Senate amends Electoral Act to legalise electronic voting

Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate

Nigeria now comes close to using electronic voting system in the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, after the country’s Senate amended the Electoral Act on Thursday.

The amendment followed the adoption of the report of the alteration of the existing electoral law, Electoral Act 2010, by of the Senate committee on INEC, and subsequently, the passage of the amendment bill for third reading.

The report on the amendment was presented by Abubakar Kyari, APC-Borno, who stood in for the chairman of the INEC committee, Ali Ndume, APC-Borno, who is on a six-month suspension.

Mr. Kyari, now chairman of the defence committee, is the former chairman of the INEC committee who led most of the work on the amendment process before he was replaced by Mr. Ndume in February.

It took long deliberation before the report was adopted for third reading.

“We have introduced electronic voting through any technology INEC deems fit,” said Mr. Kyari, speaking after the bill scaled through.

The Senate also legalized the use smart card reader and “any technological device” for accreditation.

Card reader was deployed for 2015 general elections, but the Supreme Court, in its rulings on Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom State governorship elections, faulted the use.

Although INEC continued to use card readers to accredit voters in rerun elections that followed 2015 general polls as part of its guidelines, this is the first time the technology would be given legal backing.

The Senate also moved to give statutory backing to INEC’s newly unveiled electronic result and transmission system with the aim of eliminating manual collation of results in Nigeria’s electoral process.

Solving Kogi Debacle

Against the background of the crisis that followed last Kogi governorship election in which Audu Abubakar, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, who was leading the poll, died before return was made, the Senate also altered the electoral law to allow INEC suspend exercise, in the event of death of a governorship candidate in the course of the election, for 21 days.

The political party that suffers loss of candidate will then be allowed to conduct a fresh primary to replace the deceased, thereby ending controversy over who should continue on behalf of the party between a running mate or runners-up in the primary election that produced the deceased in the first place.

Then, the bill says that any new candidate from the fresh primary should inherit the votes already garnered by the deceased on behalf of the party.

With the passage of the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill today, the Senate will now transmit the bill to the House of Representatives for concurrence before final transmission to the President for assent.


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  • Mamman Bako

    At least some progress have been made….

  • K-kay

    With this, electoral violence will greatly be minimized, and politicians more mindful of the their activities. Congratulations Nigeria.

  • Emeka

    The thieves who named or tagged themselves “politicians” have finally nailed their coffin, and that only happened or made possible by unforeseen forces from heaven, after the pitiable cries of some helpless Nigerians who looked up to God for extrication in the hands of some devil incarnate in NASS

  • PolyGon2013

    That is a step in the right direction.

    • Odafe Iniruaye

      DEAR EDITOR,

      No political party election in 2019, please!

      Please

      allow me little space in your respected newspaper to tell the truth. There is
      no protest anywhere in Nigeria. There has been no protest since President
      Muhamadu Buhari resumed office? What does that tell you? It means Nigerians
      are okay. They have no complaint. This is the standard of life they want to live in
      darkness. They struggled to achieve it by voting out the past government which
      provided 12 hours electricity per day. Nigerians did not want that.

      Nigerians wanted
      total darkness which President Buhari’s government has brought. Lagos state has
      been in total darkness and non-stop for the past three days. There is no single
      protest in Lagos state despite that the government of Akin Ambode there has not
      provided drinking water since last week. Why then do you need an election, what
      for? People who can live without water and electricity cannot be human beings.
      Animals don’t need general election. Let the pretence stop, please. Nigeria is
      not a country of human beings. It is a zoo of lower animals.

      • Uncle Ben

        @disqus_1P4NU5rbm0:disqus

        ELECTION IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO AN EPIDEMIC OF THEFTS IN NIGERIA.
        ONLY A BLOODY REVOLUTION CAN SAVE NIGERIA FROM AN EPIDEMIC OF THEFT –
        SO THAT TREASURY THIEVES WILL FIRSTLY BE LAID TO REST IN PERFECT PEACE
        IT IS AFTER THAT CLEANSING OF NIGERIA THAT ELECTION WILL HAVE A MEANING.

      • thisnigeria

        Please tell the truth. Past Nigerian government gave 12 hours electricity per day? May be in your neighborhood. Not in mine.

    • Facts & Figures

      COST OF LIVING IN NIGERIA TODAY:

      • Smallest can of Baygon insecticide………………………..₦1,200 per tin.
      • Rent of three bedroom apartment…………………………₦450,000 per annum.
      • A 25kg bag of garri as staple food…………………………₦14,000 per bag.
      • Petrol for six hours of private electricity……………………₦60,000 a month.
      • Cost of preparing soup for family of six……………………₦6,000 every two days.
      • Ceeway drinking water ……………………………………….₦500 per gallon.
      • School fees for a child in private school…………………..₦2 million per session.
      • Cost of two (2) newspapers a day for information………..₦15,000 per month.
      • One packet of Solpadeine headache tablets………………..₦5,400 per packet.
      • Cost of filling up a salon car with petrol……………………….₦10,700 to fill up a car with petrol.
      • Minimium wage in Nigeria………………………………………….₦18,000 per month.
      • Private sector graduate starting salary………………………..₦80,000 per month.

      • Akin Tee-Cole

        @disqus_1P4NU5rbm0:disqus

        Raji Fashola announced himself as a thief and a criminal in the year 2012 when he authorised an
        official letter dated November 5, issuing from the Lagos Ministry of Justice, stating that Freedom of Information Act, passed by the National Assembly and enacted into law in Nigeria, does not apply to his
        own rogue administration in Lagos State. It was the most irresponsible declaration by any government
        official in Nigeria since October 1, 1960.

        In that self-disgracing letter, Raji Fashola barefacedly declared he will never render public accounts
        of Lagos state revenue and expenditure to the people of Lagos – which information is obligatory as a
        commonsense trusteeship duty of any responsible government; without having to be asked.

        Raji Fashola’s refusal to account for public funds in Lagos is tantamount to his walking nude into a
        public square at mid-day to orally declare himself; and his Lagos State officials, as common thieves.

        As such, he and they will now have to be treated as such by the insulted public. That is the long and
        the short of it.

    • TundeEricoThomas

      @PolyGon2013:disqus

      Nigerians must begin to think for once and rise to recover their lost humanity and stop dying cheap deaths
      on behalf of thieves by jumping into the Lagos lagoon. Nigerians do not yet show they belong to humanity
      by overlooking life-ruining thefts, including the $400 billion the World Bank said was stolen from Nigeria,
      and lodged into the overseas private accounts of Nigeria’s government officials and their criminal
      business partners. The day Nigerians rise in fury and thrust their official thieves into bonfires,
      the international community will take notice that at last, thinking human beings have evolved
      inside Nigeria with a resolve to fulfill the laws against thefts they enacted for their country.
      But for so long as thieves and criminals are free, rich and honored, and, thieves are the
      candidates to be elected at polls, Nigerians shall be treated by the rest of the world as
      the scum of the earth.

  • El Patron

    Chai, Governor Okowa how you go take win election in 2019??? We all know Card readers were not used in Delta State in 2015

  • veeboot

    @PolyGon2013:disqus

    The real reason Nigeria’s been declining, sinking, breaking, wobbly, and falling and likely to break into tears and pieces
    very shortly, is the most useless quality of its mostly smelly citizens. They just chatter but will never meet to discuss any sensible ideas or agree sensible concepts for their own country’s development .

    They just chatter and blab nonsense (over beer for the most part). These are not people, but wretches of the earth
    A sum of ₦800 billion is missing in Lagos state till today, and likely stolen under the direction of Raji Fashola between
    2007 and 2015, but the retarded populace in Lagos state were long brainwashed and programmed to utter curses
    only on the rival party – PDP – whilst the APC treasury thieves haul away the state treasury as private property,
    for their own nuclear families. So long as these idiotic symptoms persist, violence will erupt rather than election.

    • D. Glavdar

      @kaysoyemiesq:disqus

      The Buhari Minister under financial crimes probe

      We read from SSS reports in the case of Ibrahim Magu’s confirmation saga
      at the Senate that Minister of State for Petroleum Mr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu
      is under EFCC probe.

      The specific acts of Mr. Kachikwu under probe were not revealed in the SSS
      documents but insofar as they come within the remit of EFCC those acts will
      constitute financial crimes if investigated and proved. This is a good thing
      because it may mean that President Buhari is looking closely at the actions
      of his appointed Ministers. But it does not therefore prove that President
      Buhari is doing exactly that, if Mr. Kachikwu was targeted, for example, and,
      if this intra-government probe does not extend to the cabinet in entirety.

      Nigerians live in perpetual darkness under the Buhari government without
      electricity supply. Yet, the Electricity Minister, Raji Fashola, has so far
      received 400 billion Naira plus since resuming office in October 2015.
      Nigerians expect EFCC probe into this electricity mess in Nigeria given
      the 400 billion Naira so far wasted, frittered, or pocketed and stolen.

  • MaskedPhantom

    For once, your comments make sense.

  • Kickboxer

    Oya…Hausa-Fulani-KAnuri terrorists……you have to buy electronic device for underage voters….

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    With Nigeria, present irregular power supply, how can the senators be so blind and lack common-sense to realize that without adequate power supply,Nigeria, can not join the league of nations adopting electronic voting system.Untill regular power status is attained by Nigeria,the country will continue to lag behind in all spheres of advancement and the economy will remain unstable and under-developed.

  • Wale

    Putin, here you go.
    Thieves and forgers are inviting yo for a dinner.

  • MaskedPhantom

    You retrogress into stupidity once more… What’s that saying about a pig and bathing it? Useless!

    • Daniel

      Hahahaja!

      Kay is one of the indescribably elusive fellow on social media ever since he found out his judgement on Buhari was poor in the pre-election season.

      He is self-diminished.

      • MaskedPhantom

        Kay Soyemi (Excreta) is a total waste of humanity…

  • Daniel

    Are you here Mr poor judgement?

    I hope you have admitted your mistake on Buhari.

  • MaskedPhantom

    Kay Soyemi (Excreta)…